Residents of Panama City and Panama City Beach don’t consider themselves art lovers if they have never attended at least one show at the “Martin.” Originally built in 1936, the Martin Theatre first opened it’s door as the “Ritz”, one of a chain of movie houses that covered Georgia, Alabama and NW Florida. Early memories boast visits by such notables as Clark Gable, Constance Bennett, Michael O’Shea, William Boyd, and cowboy great Bill Elliot. The cinema operated until 1978, then sat vacant until 1987 when it was bought by the, then, chairman on the Panama City Downtown Improvement Board, H. Mack Lewis. It reopened in 1990 as an entertainment facility and to this day, the 460-seat state-of-the-art facility is known for hosting many popular plays and attractions.
But times have been a’changing.
The Martin brass is considering taking the downtown staple back to it’s roots and they need your help. Should the Martin go back to showing movies? You be the judge…
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